Native Peoples of Siberia

This page presents links for information on the many native peoples of Siberia. The colors of this page are the same as the Siberian flag and the flags of several Siberian nations. The green represents the Siberian taiga, the largest forest in the world, the white represents the snow of winter. The Siberian winter is from November to March, and is culturally as well as materially important for all Siberians, native or Russian. However, Siberia is not the frozen wasteland as some believe, but a very rich and diverse environment sheltering vast amounts of wildlife and plants, some of which are quite rare and valuable.

The peoples of Siberia fall into three major ethno-linguistic groups:
Uralic
Altaic
Paleo-Siberian

The Buryat, the main group discussed at this website, are an Altaic nationality. Below you will find links grouped according to these three groups. In addition to this, please check out the “Shamanism from other Siberian Traditions” page in order to view materials about the shamanism of these other native groups. This page also includes a section on native rights and environmental issues.

Siberian Native Peoples -- Links

The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire:

A comprehensive web page with information and links on 85 native peoples within the Russian Federation, mostly Siberian aboriginal groups. Scroll down the list on the right side to select information on the ethnic group of your choice.

“ And did those feet in ancient time”

Aboriginal ways of life in danger of disappearing. About two anthropologists’ work in Siberia and the Canadian North.

Jennifer’s Language Page:

Compilation of basic important phrases in hundreds of the world’s languages including many native Siberian languages

Children’s Drawings Reflect Siberian Traditional Culture


Way-Finding Techniques of Siberian Peoples

Ethnologue Data base:

A listing of the 42 native Siberian languages, alternate names, dialects, and number of native speakers. Christian oriented, so it also lists Bible translations, but nevertheless a good resource

Tunguska Home Page:

Information and links about the Tunguska disaster. Dramatic photo of the devastation taken from the air.

Respublika Sakha (Yakutia)

A comprehensive page on the Yakut (Sakha) people and their autonomous republic. It includes a lot of information on traditional culture and shamanism in addition to geography, size of native populations, etc.

Evenkia

About the Evenk Autonomous Region in Northern Siberia, the Evenks, and their culture. The Evenk Autonomous Region is one of the largest native autonomous regions in Russia.

Krasnoyarskiy Kray:

Part of the Evenk Autonomous Region. Information and links.

In the Soviet House of Culture:

Review of a book about the Nivkh’s struggle to preserve their culture in the face of missionary pressure in tsarist times and Soviet minority policy

Information on Yakut Culture

Throat Singers of Tuva

A Word Turns Into A Song:

A page dedicated to the songs of the Nenets. It includes transcriptions of shaman songs and other folk songs.

Uralic Languages in Russia

Nents-Selkup-Mansi-Khanty

The Samoyde: The People and thier Dog:

This article briefly describes the Samoyed (Nenets) people and their famous dog breed. The text contains many interesting links to additional material about Nenets culture and shamanism.

Naganasans:

An article about the Nganasans, their culture and homeland.


Help save the natural environment of the Khanty people of Siberia

The Nenets and Khanty of Yamal Peninsula:

A richly illustrated article about traditional way of life.

Photos of Nenets Traditional Life (commentary in German)

GOVERNMENT DECEPTION THREATENS DESTRUCTION OF EASTERN KHANTY TRADITIONAL CULTURE

Khanty Bear Feast Songs:

Description of the ritualized bear feast of the Samoyedic Khanty with songs and a photo essay.

Funeral Customs of the Northern Khants:

Funeral customs of the Samoyedic Khanty people, includes photo essay.

The Big Problem of Small Ethnic Groups:

This article examines the plight of native Siberians using the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region as an example. Traditional subsistence is threatened by environmental degradation. Infant mortality is high and life expectancy is 18 years less than for Russians. The information in this article is quite disturbing.

Struggle over Land and Resources in the Russian North

The Carbon Bomb: Climate Change and the Fate of the Northern Boreal Forests:

A Greenpeace report about the dangers to the survival of the northern forests (taiga) which cover much of Siberia. The overall area of this forest is comparable to the Amazonian rainforest and is a diverse but sensitive and endangered ecosystem.

International Institute for Sustainable Development:

An important strategy for the integration of modern technology into native cultures without destroying the traditional balance with the earth.

Fourht World Documentation Project

COMPETING FOR RESOURCES:

FIRST NATION RIGHTS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE RUSSIAN FAR EAST